Boodler: Licensing

The licensing situation regarding Boodler is somewhat ornate, because there are many components involved. (The script boodler, the Boodler sound engine, the sound files and pieces of code that make up a given soundscape. Not to mention the fact that soundscapes can include other soundscapes.)

I have tried to keep the hassle to a minimum. If you are running Boodler for your own private, non-commercial use, you shouldn't have to worry about any of this. However, if you intend to use Boodler in a public or broadcast setting, or in a commercial, for-profit way, or if you intend to incorporate Boodler in some other project or program, you should read the following.


(Running Boodler)

Boodler is free software, and you may run it freely. (Portions of the Boodler source code are copyrighted and licensed under the LGPL or the GPL, and other portions are public domain. Neither of these restrict you in any way from running the program.)

However, there is another legal issue. Boodler operates by executing soundscape code, which combines sound-sample files into a ongoing stream of sound. Legally speaking, when you run Boodler, you are creating a derivative work based on those code fragments and sound files.

The soundscapes and sound files in the Boodler package library are not all in the public domain. Many are licensed "for non-commercial use only". Some of the sound files were found by random searching around the web, and appear without any copyright statement at all.

It is my opinion (not backed by any legal advice) that if you run Boodler for your own private use, using packages downloaded from the Boodler library, then you are within the scope of fair use and the "non-commercial use" licenses of those sounds.

However, if you play the sound output of Boodler (based on the Boodler package library) as a commercial performance, or include it in a recording sold for profit, you may not be complying with the copyright restrictions on those sounds. You will have to look at the license terms of the packages you use, and decide whether your performance is legal.

Note that this legal issue is a problem of playing sounds and soundscapes from the Boodler package library. It is not a restriction of the Boodler software itself. If you create your own Boodler soundscape, based solely on your own sound-sample files and code, then that stream of sound is entirely your own work; you may do with it as you wish.


(Creating new soundscapes)

The sound and soundscape packages in the org.boodler section of the package library (excluding org.boodler.old) are in the public domain. They are intended to be used as code samples as well as soundscapes. You may modify, extend, combine, and pervert them as you wish.

The sound packages in the org.boodler.old section of the package library are copyrighted, but free for non-commercial use. They are not free for commercial use.

Sound packages elsewhere in the library (not under org.boodler) are free for non-commercial use. They may or may not be free for commercial use, modification, and other forms of derivative work. See the terms of each package for details.

If you create sound files or soundscape code for use with Boodler, you may license them as you wish -- GPL, LGPL, Creative Commons, some other license. Or you might choose to not release them at all; you are not obligated to do so.


(Putting your work in the Boodler library)

You are welcome to contribute your sounds and soundscapes to the Boodler project. Any properly-formatted package file will be accepted into the Boodler package library, as long as it is free for users to enjoy.

You are also welcome to repackage and contribute other people's sounds, as long as their licenses permit you to do so.

To be accepted, a package must be, at minimum, free for non-commercial use. The Boodler project strongly encourages contributions to be either placed in the public domain, or licensed under an open-source or Creative Commons license.


(Modifying Boodler and incorporating it into other software)

I consider Boodler to be more like a software component than a stand-alone program. Accordingly, I have released it under the GNU Library General Public License (the LGPL). To be precise, the workhorse parts of Boodler -- the boodle and boopak Python packages -- form a library, which is licensed under the LGPL.

The Python program boodler is simply a shell that starts up the Boodler library. I have released this program into the public domain. You may do with it as you like. However, understand that if you write a program that is intended to link in the Boodler library (regardless of whether you use the boodler script), then your program is a work that uses the library, and must behave appropriately. See the LGPL document for details.

One detail: the C source code of the cboodle extensions is dual-licensed. You may use it under the terms of the LGPL or the GPL, whichever you like. This is because it must be compiled with several native libraries, including VorbisEnc (BSD license), LibShout (LGPL), and LAME (GPL). The dynamically loadable cboodle_* driver modules are therefore all under the LGPL, except for cboodle_lame, which is GPL.


(The lack of warranty)

There is no warranty. See the LGPL.

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